First meeting between president, opposition leader to address economic hardships

President Yoon Suk Yeol shakes hands with main opposition Democratic Party of Korea Chairman Lee Jae-myung during their meeting before Yoon's address on state budget at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, Oct. 31, 2023. Courtesy of presidential office

President Yoon Suk Yeol and Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) Chairman Lee Jae-myung are poised to address strategies to ease the financial burden felt by the public in their soon-to-be-held meeting, according to the presidential office and the party.A focal point of the agenda will be Lee’s prior proposal to provide a 250,000 won ($180) subsidy for every citizen, a measure labeled “populist” by the ruling bloc.How they navigate these discussions will stand as a defining moment, shaping the president’s capacity to enact his policy agenda through cooperation with the opposition, which has wielded significant influence in the National Assembly for the past two years of his tenure, and is poised to do so for the next three years.The presidential office said Sunday that discussions are underway with the DPK regarding the scheduling, format, and agenda of the upcoming Yoon-Lee meeting. This follows the president’s proposal for the meeting during a phone conversation with Lee on Friday.

During the call, Yoon extended congratulations to Lee and other DPK lawmaker-elects on their victory in the April 10 general elections. The DPK-led opposition secured a landslide win, ensuring its control of the Assembly for the next four years. Yoon also expressed his desire for “frequent conversations on state affairs” with Lee.Since taking office in May 2022, Yoon has consistently declined Lee’s requests for formal meetings, despite their occasional exchange of pleasantries in several encounters. While doing so, their partisan conflicts have escalated, leading to a vicious cycle where the DPK unilaterally passes contentious bills, only for Yoon to veto them. The two sides are expected to concentrate on seeking common ground for their discussions, with the most probable topics being ways to ease the financial burden felt by the public and reducing the cost of living.During his post-election speech on April 16, Yoon reiterated that “improving public livelihood” remains the foremost priority of the government, acknowledging his administration’s failure to reduce 카지노사이트킹 living costs.

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